Question: I have a five year old daughter who was born outside wedlock. I have been raising her on my own and with the help of my parents from birth. Her father lives in another country, and father and daughter are still yet to meet each other. But, we are still very much in contact.
I was a teenager and had only known him for less than three months and left his country. It was initially thought that we would get married but I have since seen things in a different/actual light and I strongly feel I would be happier without him. For a long time now I have decided I do not want to get married to him nor am I looking forward to getting married at all. But, I am worried if either of these would be healthy for my child’s spiritual and social development.
My questions are: according to the Bible and for her personal development, does she need me to be married to her biological father even if it will cost me my happiness? Can she still be perfect if I marry someone else or do not marry at all, with reference to the Bible? What does the Bible say about unmarried parents, are they compelled to marry each other?
Answer: Dear Friend, Has something happened to cause you to think you would not be happy if you were married?
Who you marry is not important-as long as you marry the person God has designed for you. The man you marry should be a Christian who puts God first-and also loves you and your daughter as his own.
God has designed a family to be a husband, wife, and children. That is His perfect plan. The father brings things to this child’s life as well as the mother. The children need to have a balance between a mother and father. They also need parents who love each other and are happy in the Lord.
Does this mean you have to marry the father of your child? Not necessarily. First you would both need to ask forgiveness from God for having sex outside of marriage. Then you should pray for God to show you the person you should marry or guide you as to whether or not you should marry.
You should not get married because of your daughter. You should only get married if it is God’s will.
If you feel that God does not want you to get married, then are you able to live a celibate life? God has designed for sex to take place only within a marriage. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4) “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his [her] vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5) Paul states that a person who is single has more time to spend serving the Lord. [Look at our 1 Corinthians commentary, chapter 7.]
Since you are a mother, you still need to spend time with your child, so could not devote as much time serving the Lord as a single person.
Paul also states that staying single will be hard unless you are called by God to be single, because it is better to marry than to burn (which is to have sexual wants and needs that cannot be fulfilled since that can only happen in marriage).
No one can tell you who or even if you should marry. That is between you and God. Do you have to marry your child’s father? No! Especially if he’s not saved or a person who doesn’t truly love you or your child. Can you marry a man who is not your child’s father? Yes. If he’s a Christian, loves you and your child, and it is within God’s will.
God does not want you to be unhappy. God gives each of His children good and perfect gifts. Ask yourself why you have an aversion to marriage-seek God. Honestly do what God is leading you to do.
In Christian love,
We received this note back, after our email me. response to her questions.
“Thanks for the prompt reply. The information is a huge relief. Thanks a lot.”
For more information email me.
Please what do you say about having a child outside marriage but not through sex but through IVF? I have a case in hand.
Gary Panell says
Hi Chris, Are these people married? Or is it one person? Thanks, Gary